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The uncommon but necessary ante or postnuptial agreement

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2016 | Family Law |

Prenuptial agreements are looked at as offensive by some. During a happy merger of two families and two people to create a new branch to both families, the prenup comes in as a contract based upon the possibility that this merger should fail. Because marriage isn’t a business to those involved, emotions come into play in the financial and practical aspects of the union.

If prenups get so much bad press, what of the postnuptial or sometimes called antenuptial agreement? What is that and why would you pursue it after the wedding bliss? Is that a foreshadowing, a precursor for divorce?

Not at all. But it is a sound business decision to maintain clear contractual understandings that should not infect healthy partnerships. Like many planned mergers, situations change and agreements may require a re-evaluation and revision.

An antenuptial agreement is similar to a prenup in that its intention is to clearly lay out how finances will be managed by a couple and will override state laws around this topic. Should a spouse pass away or divorce, the antenup can assist in property division and alimony terms. Should one spouse come into extraordinary wealth, an antenup can cover estate planning, inheritance and asset protection.

Some businesses even require antenups for partners who, without an agreement in place, could see spouses acquire a share hold in the business and affect its longevity. It is a form of asset management extended beyond the business to protect the business and presumably could make it easier for a spouse to request since it is an obligation of employment.

Even some parents will require an antenuptial agreement before leaving an inheritance for a child.

For any of numerous reasons, you may be in need of an antenuptial agreement. Since they are typically more contested and newer to divorce courts, it wouldn’t be wise to draft one without both parties obtaining the counsel of Michigan family law attorneys to represent both sides and ensure a fair and equitable agreement for property division. The antenuptial or postnuptial agreement can remove any lingering worries around finances, help to lay it all out on the table and determine a fair division should the marriage ever end.


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